Anyone that knows and or has followed me is aware that I have been active in the area’s real estate market for a number of years. After obtaining my real estate license in 2000, I have since become a licensed Broker, I obtained my Market Value Appraiser (MVA) designation and further, I served for a number of years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® including that as President in 2008. I have also held a number of volunteer positions in our profession and up until spring of this year I served 6 years on the Standard Forms Committee at the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA). The OREA Forms Committee is responsible for developing, revising and maintaining the dozen of various real estate forms that are used across the province for real estate transactions.
During my close to 20 years in this business, the real estate profession has changed greatly and there are a number of contributing factors. New players have entered into the market with different business models pertaining to the listing and sale of properties. Rapidly advancing technology has played a big role and this will continue in the years ahead giving buyers and sellers more data and other information with respect to their buying and selling needs. This can both assist but also confuse them in making the appropriate choice for their real estate needs. Consumer behaviour has also played a significant role in changing the real estate buying and selling landscape. Online searching for a home, a REALTOR® and other real estate related information is the norm. No matter what the product or service, consumers no longer have nor should they be expected to exercise patience or tolerant poor customer/client service or unethical behaviour by those of us licensed to practice the listing and selling of real estate.
In Ontario, real estate Salespersons and Brokers are licensed under the Province’s Real Estate and Business Brokers Act 2002 (REBBA 2002). As the name implies this legislation is almost twenty years old and based on the aforementioned changes that have impacted our profession, it is long overdue for updating if not a total revamp. On Tuesday of this week, Lisa Thompson Minister of Government and Public Services introduced to the Ontario Legislature Bill 145, “Trust In Real Estate Services Act, 2019).
Once passed, this Bill will make a number of amendments (changes) to REBBA 2002 which will address a number of issues including tools and training to improve the ability of REALTORS® to best serve today’s consumers. Further, the Cod
e of Ethics that governs both REALTORS® and real estate Brokerages will be enhanced clearly defining what guidelines must be followed. These changes to the Code of Ethics will also be complimented by greater powers to the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), the governing body that administers the various aspects of Provincial law that licensed real estate practitioners must adhere to. RECO will have greater regulatory authority to to levy fines, penalties etc. against those that fail to comply with the requirements maintained under the new Act.
Changes have already been implemented with respect to the licensing education that individuals must complete in order to obtain a license to practice listing and selling real estate across the province. This new licensing education is now being handled by Humber College and I have applied to be a facilitator in the new program. RECO is also looking to implement new continuing education courses. Completing these courses is required to update and increase our skills every two years prior to renewing our licenses thus allowing us to continue in the business.
Many of us welcome the new changes that are being proposed by Bill 145, “Trust In Real Estate Services Act.” It’s long overdue and I comment the government, the Ontario Real estate Association and the Real Estate Council of Ontario for fighting to bring these proposed changes forward to better protect Ontario consumers with the real estate buying and selling needs. Once I have read the details of the new Act I will provide further details in upcoming posts. In the meantime I welcome your comments and should you have any questions please do not hesitate to Contact Me.